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Exodus 25:23-40, The Table and the Lampstand

Saturday, June 23

A Worship Space

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

A place to worship

Once again, God was very specific about the table on which the bread of God's presence would sit. On the table, too, was a lampstand to house candles (the flames perhaps representing the life of the Spirit). As the chapters of Exodus continue, God specifies just how to make a space that represents the presence and house of God. They would not have a permanent dwelling until Solomon. But even in the wilderness, God knew that the people needed a place to worship, and a place they could go to feel close to God. 

People still need a place they can feel close to God. Our churches are built with varying sizes, shapes, functions, and art. But they all serve a purpose -- to give people a place to worship. Sure, we can worship God anywhere. But there is something holy about a space designated for God. Not that we should contain God to the box of a worship space, but that we can create a space where worshiping God is the primary function of the space. Our churches can be where we let the distractions of the world fall away and devote all of our time and attention to God and the things of God.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Exodus 25:23-40

You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a molding of gold around it. You shall make around it a rim a handbreadth wide, and a molding of gold around the rim. You shall make for it four rings of gold, and fasten the rings to the four corners at its four legs. The rings that hold the poles used for carrying the table shall be close to the rim. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, and the table shall be carried with these. You shall make its plates and dishes for incense, and its flagons and bowls with which to pour drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me always.

You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand shall be made of hammered work; its cups, its calyxes, and its petals shall be of one piece with it; and there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. On the lampstand itself there shall be four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with its calyxes and petals. There shall be a calyx of one piece with it under the first pair of branches, a calyx of one piece with it under the next pair of branches, and a calyx of one piece with it under the last pair of branches—so for the six branches that go out of the lampstand. Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it one hammered piece of pure gold. You shall make the seven lamps for it; and the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it. Its snuffers and trays shall be of pure gold. It, and all these utensils, shall be made from a talent of pure gold. And see that you make them according to the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.